A Case for Dr. Morelle was a 13-episode series which ran weekly in 1957 on the BBC Light Programme from April 23 to July 16.
According to the author Ernest Dudley, the character began life in 1940 during World War Two air raids, as he was trying to think up a "different" kind of detective while also providing a comic role for the actress Jane Grahame, who was also his wife. The result, originally heard on the radio show Monday Night at Eight, involved the acerbic criminal psychologist Dr. Morelle and his eager-but-less-than-helpful secretary Miss Frayle. In the 1957 series, Dr. Morelle was played by the English comic actor Cecil Parker, and Sheila Sim played the long-suffering and devoted Miss Frayle. In addition to radio plays, Dudley wrote a stage play as well as a number of novels and short stories featuring these characters.
Audiences loved the opinionated and eccentric Morelle, whose disdain for his loyal secretary was an extension of his general lack of regard for humanity. Unlike Sherlock Holmes, who based his analysis on physical clues left at the scene of the crime, Morelle generally conducted his investigations via a series of interviews, although he sometimes included physical evidence in his analysis. He used his knowledge of criminal psychology to determine which of the suspects fit the psychological profile of the criminal. Often during the story, Miss Frayle would irritate the doctor by interrupting him as he was conducting an experiment or testing some scientific theory. His solutions to the crimes -- whether murder, blackmail, larceny or some other crime -- were always based on psychology.
Sources: archive.org web page for series, a 1958 New Zealand article (transcribed here), and Fantasic Fiction.
NOTE: Updated with Version 1909 files (03-Jan-2020).
From the Old Time Radio Researchers Group. See "Notes" Section below for more information on the OTRR.
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September 19, 2018 Subject:
I'm a Dr. Morelle Fan
This particular upload was a major disappointment more than have were miss labled and there were numerous duplications.
Was very excited when I started and very disappointed when I finished. With the dupes there was nowhere near 12 episodes.
June 7, 2018 Subject:
Poor miss frayle
An excellent niche series of the 1950's. I always feel sorry for miss frayle. She should stand up to Morrell more. Check out the episode in which she is totally ignored when calling a cab. Twice! By the same taxi driver. I think it is the episode called the gambler. Misogyny at its height. Still this was the 1950's.
And it was the dear old bbc where men ruled the place. An excellent slice of the past.
April 27, 2015 Subject:
Love this series
Crackly reception but really worth while listening very good really enjoyed it wish there were more